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The temporal organization of behavior on periodic food schedules.

By A K Reid, G Bacha and C Morán

Abstract

Various theories of temporal control and schedule induction imply that periodic schedules temporally modulate an organism's motivational states within interreinforcement intervals. This speculation has been fueled by frequently observed multimodal activity distributions created by averaging across interreinforcement intervals. We tested this hypothesis by manipulating the cost associated with schedule-induced activities and the availability of other activities to determine the degree to which (a) the temporal distributions of activities within the interreinforcement interval are fixed or can be temporally displaced, (b) rats can reallocate activities across different interreinforcement intervals, and (c) noninduced activities can substitute for schedule-induced activities. Obtained multimodal activity distributions created by averaging across interreinforcement intervals were not representative of the transitions occurring within individual intervals, so the averaged multimodal distributions should not be assumed to represent changes in the subject's motivational states within the interval. Rather, the multimodal distributions often result from averaging across interreinforcement intervals in which only a single activity occurs. A direct influence of the periodic schedule on the motivational states implies that drinking and running should occur at different periods within the interval, but in three experiments the starting times of drinking and running within interreinforcement intervals were equal. Thus, the sequential pattern of drinking and running on periodic schedules does not result from temporal modulation of motivational states within interreinforcement intervals

Topics: Research Article
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:1322074
Provided by: PubMed Central
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